Bishop Irinej of Novi Sad and Backa Irinej Bulovic warned the actions of by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and Greek Archbishop Ieronymos will reate new divisions in the Orthodox World.
“This act is the final step before the abyss of an even deeper and more dangerous schism in ecclesiastical Orthodoxy,” Irinej said on October 20 commenting on their recent mentioning the head of the non-canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine in a service.
On October 19, Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos held a joint church service in Thessaloniki, Greece. During it, they commemorated the name of the head of the non-canonical Ukrainian church, Epiphanius.
The Serbian and the Russian Orthodox Churches and many other local Orthodox Churches strongly condemned Constantinople for granting an ‘autocephaly’ to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was created from local non-canonical entities. The only canonical Orthodox Church that operates in Ukraine is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).
Recently, the Ecumenical Patriarch achieved a tactical success in Greece by forcing the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church to accept its ‘right’ to grant the autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. However, this move caused a significant resistance within the Greek Orthodox Church itself. For example, the head of the Osiou Gregoriou monastery in the monastic state of Mount Athos in Greece warned that the current situation over the Ukraine question is leading to the devisions within the Orthodox World.
Therefore, actions of Constantinople are in fact aimed at undermining the Orthodox unity and discrediting the Orthodox Church as a religious system.
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